The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance have merged, creating an organization that aims to bring scientific advances to patients faster and deepen longstanding ties with UW Medicine.
As part of the restructuring officially launched on April 1, Fred Hutch and SCCA are united into one independent non-profit organization now called the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. The unified organization will be a clinically integrated part of UW Medicine’s and UW Medicine’s cancer program.
“Today’s milestone is an exciting step toward our vision of reducing the time between discovery and delivery of the most advanced treatments for our patients,” said Fred Hutch, President and Director and Chair of Raisbeck endowment. Dr. Thomas J. Lynch, Jr.who held the same titles at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center prior to the merger.
Although the organization has a new name, Lynch said Fred Hutch’s dedication to research excellence remains unchanged. He said these scientific efforts will only be strengthened by a simplified organizational structure and closer integration with clinical care. The organization’s commitment to scientific research in vaccines and infectious diseases, basic and human biology, computer science and public health is the same as before the merger, as is its commitment to diversity, l equity and inclusion, and reducing health disparities.
Lynch, UW Medicine CEO Dr. Paul Ramsey, and other key leaders celebrated the formation of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center this morning during an opening ceremony on the Fred Hutch campus.
“We are creating a cancer center that is committed to compassionate, connected patient care that puts the patient and their family first,” Lynch said. “We are committed to discovery and science, because the best care is rooted in science.”
Noting that more than 600,000 Americans die of cancer every year, he said the way to find better treatments is “when you connect an amazing clinical facility with the best science in the world.”
SCCA was established 20 years ago by Fred Hutch, UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s to provide clinical cancer care services to all three institutions. With the launch today of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Seattle Children’s will focus on pediatric cancer care, and Fred Hutch and UW Medicine will more closely coordinate adult cancer care. The SCCA name will be retired later this year, and a new Fred Hutch branding will be introduced to signify the completion of the integration.
Although the pediatric clinical care program, including bone marrow transplants, will move to newly completed facilities at Seattle Children’s, Lynch said research collaborations between Hutch and Seattle Children’s will remain unchanged.
Under a new management services agreement, Fred Hutch will also provide management oversight of UW Medical Center services that exclusively provide cancer care, such as oncology infusion and radiation oncology. Although Fred Hutch and UW Medicine will continue to operate independent medical centers, cancer care will be “clinically integrated” – an arrangement that allows two medical organizations to seamlessly coordinate care in different settings.
“Our vision is to make life beyond cancer a reality for our patients. This is truly an evolution of our legacy of innovation, focus on clinical outcomes and excellence in care for our patients,” said Ramsey, during the morning celebration.
“The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, in collaboration with UW Medicine, will accelerate the development, evaluation, and use of cancer treatments and discoveries in adult cancer patients,” he said.
Ramsey explained that this new “deeply integrated relationship” will help the two organizations align their clinical care teams, leadership teams and business planning. He predicted significant and tangible changes for patients, including improved cancer screening, surveillance, early diagnosis, and a focus on treatment, survivorship, and greater availability of cancer services.
“The patient is at the center of what we do,” he said.
Ramsey also stressed the importance of ensuring that the benefits of cancer research are available to everyone. “We will apply a health equity lens to everything we do, to provide the best cancer care services in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer for all patients,” he said. declared.
One of the primary goals of this clinical integration will be to reduce the redundant efforts currently required to set up clinical trials, the route through which patients have the best opportunity to access advanced experimental cancer research. Hutch executives said the streamlining will improve patient access to these trials, bringing clinical research and care closer together.
Dr Terry McDonnell, Fred Hutch’s chief nursing officer, said “being integrated as one team will give even more hope to the people we serve”.